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Why Does My Cat Sleep Behind My Knees?

If your cat is sleeping behind your knees you may be wondering why this is happening…

Why Does My Cat Sleep Behind My Knees?

When your cat is sleeping close like this, it is because they trust you, feel safe, and because that spot behind your knees is also soft and warm. Cats are particular about who they sleep with or even put their back to, so by sleeping so close your cat is showing an enormous amount of love and trust.

So, now you know. But, is it OK for a cat to sleep in your bed? Why do cats like knees? Why is my cat sleeping behind me? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

Is it OK to let a cat sleep in your bed?

An orange cat lying on a pink textile.

An orange cat lying on a pink textile.

Yes, you can certainly let your cat sleep on the bed if you like, just be sure that you want that. Once your cat is used to the extra warmth from your body and the soft covers (which some cats like to burrow under!), then you’ll have a hard time convincing them not to sleep there every day!

If you are a restless sleeper, then a compromise is a better idea. Put a cat bed or a cat tower with a little bedding inside close to where you sleep. That way, your cat can feel safer with you nearby but there won’t be any danger of rolling over onto your cat and possibly getting an angry nip for your troubles!

Why do cats like my knees?

Cats like the spot behind the knees because it fits them rather like a nice, curved hammock, and because the skin is smoother back there then it is on the front where your jeans rub the most. Plus, cats like to sleep curled-up, sometimes, and behind the knees you have a natural bend that fits them to a tee!

As such, don’t be surprised when your cat curls up there but take it for the compliment that it really is. No predator would ever sleep close to someone that they didn’t love and trust completely, so this sleeping arrangement is simply physical proof of the special bond you share with your cat.

Why does my cat sleep behind me?

While cats certainly cultivate their reputation for being aloof loners, they are actually very much social creatures and they like to be close to their humans. By sleeping close, your cat is just showing their trust, love, and their desire to spend time with you.

Consider the location as well. If you are sleeping with your back to the door, then this might also be a practical place to sleep and most likely this is going to be the case.

By sleeping behind you, your cat can sometimes get a good view of the door, so that no one can sneak up on either of you without them noticing!

Do cats sleep with you to protect you?

Well, yes and no. Your cat sleeps with you to protect you, sometimes, but also so that you can protect them as well! Cats are picky about whom they trust, so sleeping next to you is both a sign that you are loved and trusted as well as a strategic decision.

Cats are wired much like other animals in this regard, with the inherent instinct to know that there is power in numbers. If anyone comes into that room, they’ll be ready to defend you, or at the very least to defend with you.

With the occasional exceptions of ‘scaredy cats’ who will quickly duck under the bed!

What does it mean when your cat sleeps under your feet?

When your cat sleeps on your feet, it is not only a warm, pleasant feeling for you, but a huge sign of your cat’s love and trust. Cats are predators, which is an easy thing to forget sometimes because of their size, and as predators they would never open their backs to or sleep close to someone that they didn’t trust.

That your cat is sleeping at your feet means that they want to be close, they trust you completely, and possibly that they also know that you roll around in your sleep and they deem your feet to be the safest spot for sleeping close without getting rolled-over on!

Why does my cat like to sleep behind my legs?

If you had to boil the reasons down, you would probably end up with 2 main reasons why your cat likes to do this. First off, it’s a great defensive position. Your cat is surrounded on 2 sides and thus predators have to get through you first to get them from all but one direction.

Secondly, the crook formed where your legs meet the knees is quite warm and comfortable for your cat to curl up in. Finally, your cat loves and trusts you, so sleeping close makes them feel happy as well as simply safe.

From their perspective, it’s just about the perfect spot to be in!

Why do cats rub themselves on my legs & knees?

A brown cat sleeping next to a person's foot.

A brown cat sleeping next to a person’s foot.

You’ll notice that your cat likes to sleep behind your legs and knees and another thing that you notice is that your cat often rubs themselves against you there before settling in. While this feels like your cat is trying to pet you, they are actually marking you with their scents.

Cats rely on their olfactory senses, even more than their eyes in some cases, and your cat feels most comfortable with their own scent mixed into yours. When you see them rubbing furniture, it is similar – they are making the furniture in ‘their territory’ smell like them.

If you think about it, it just makes good sense – in the wild, a cat would have to sleep in the open, and by putting their scents everywhere they can feel more comfortable and if they catch wind of any scent that isn’t their own, then they can slink away into safety or to higher ground to see who or what is coming!

Do cats feel protected when they sleep in the ‘Knee Nuzzle’ position?

Cats love the ‘knee nuzzle’ position and for good reasons. For one thing, your skin is warm and much softer behind your legs than in front, and the natural bend where your legs meet your knees provides a perfect place to safely curl up.

It also creates a barrier from all sides but one, which also makes your cat feel more comfortable and protected. Finally, your cat is also confident that you’ve ‘got their back’, often literally pressing that back into your legs because they trust you to protect them if anyone tries to sneak into the room.

How do cats decide who to sleep with?

Cats tend to pick one person that they like the most. While they might have more than one, more often it’s a single person that they will choose to be around the most and this sometimes includes sleeping arrangements.

When your cat sits with their back to you or nuzzles up next to you, then this is the ultimate sign of trust. Predators don’t put their backs to anyone, you see, as that’s a good way to get gobbled up in the world of Nature.

Your cat loves and trusts you with their life, and sleeping with you is simply the proof in the pudding.

What should I do if I am a restless sleeper?

Letting your cat sleep behind your knees is fine – unless you are a restless sleeper. If that is the case, then you might want to put an extra pillow between your legs and your kitty, as rolling over might get you an angry nip or a scratch!

Otherwise, enjoy the added warmth of your furry best friend!

Lindsey Browlingdon